Digital innovations in diabetes

The NHS Diabetes Programme recognises that face to face interventions do not always work for everyone – and digital technologies offer new opportunities to improve patient experience and outcomes and deliver services in a more efficient way, reducing the burden on clinicians and the public.

The digital workstream seeks to establish the evidence base for innovative approaches and promote uptake to benefit people living with diabetes.

Preventing type 2 diabetes digitally

We are implementing and evaluating the effectiveness of digital behaviour change interventions aimed at preventing type 2 diabetes in those already identified as high risk, and digital programmes are now an option for anyone accessing the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. Read more about the evidence base.

Online support for people with diabetes

Diabetes is a progressive long term condition that is largely self-managed by the individual.  Structured education programmes can help people living with diabetes to improve their knowledge and skills and help to motivate them to take control of their condition and self-manage it effectively.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned several digital support programmes for people with diabetes that are available now – these are listed below.

Healthy Living for people with type 2 diabetes [link to Page 8]

The NHS Long Term Plan outlined NHS England and NHS Improvement’s commitment to expand self-management services for individuals with type 2 diabetes through commissioning Healthy Living for people with type 2 diabetes (or Healthy Living for short).

Healthy Living is a free online service designed to provide advice and information to people living with type 2 diabetes, to help them better manage their condition.

There is no GP referral requirement to access Healthy Living, people can self-refer at www.healthyliving.nhs.uk

Type 1 online structured education

We are committed to improving the provision of education resources and information to support self-management and care of people living with type 1 diabetes.

  • MyType1 Diabetes is a free digital resource that offers tailored advice and information created by NHS experts and people living with type 1 diabetes. Through the programme, participants can access information, videos, articles, and register to access accredited online education courses. The programme is available to all adults living with type 1 diabetes, their friends, family, and carers without need for a direct referral from a healthcare professional.
  • DigiBete is a free online service to support children and young people to manage their type 1 diabetes. The DigiBete App allows diabetes teams to send relevant information and resources about managing type 1 diabetes at home, allows patients to store insulin ratios safely as well as care plans, future appointments and essential help and resources, including access to over 200 type 1 diabetes films. Children and young people and their families can access DigiBete via their local paediatric diabetes teams.

If you are a referrer interested in referring into either programme, promotional resources are available to download from the FutureNHS Collaboration platform.

Information Record Standards for Diabetes

Every day, almost 1 million people have contact with the NHS, resulting in information that needs to be documented in their records and shared with other care providers.

The NHS is made up of hundreds of separate but linked organisations, and the burden of managing complex interactions and data flows between trusts, systems and individuals too often falls on patients and clinicians.

As a result, healthcare professionals often have to work with incomplete, out of date or inaccurate information, patients are repeatedly asked for the same details and care may be fragmented, unsatisfactory or even unsafe. For example, 20% of serious reactions to drugs are due to poor information sharing.

The Professional Records Standard Body (PRSB) has been commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement to produce standards for sharing diabetes information between people and professionals across all care settings, including self-reported data from the increasing number of digital tools available for self-management and medical technology (e.g. glucose monitors) to support remote patient monitoring. Further information on this project will be made available on the PRSB webpage.

Contact us

If you have any queries about the digital diabetes workstream, please email england.digitaldiabetes@nhs.net.